I made salad for dinner. When I say this, I use the phrase loosely, and fully expect that many of you will conjure up a mental image that is completely different than what I actually prepared.
At our house, salad refers to a selection of vegetables, sometimes raw sometimes cooked, sometimes cut up sometimes not, put on a cutting board and left on the bench for people to select what they would like to eat.
The reason we do salad this way is that we all like different things in our salad, and some of use really don’t want any trace of the things we don’t want to eat to be on the things we do want to eat. Some of us like salad dressing, some of us don’t. Some of us like onion, some of us are allergic to it. Some of us love avocado, others of us gag if anything we put in our mouth has ever even slightly touched an avocado.
It’s not just a food preference thing, either. Your idea of eating salad for dinner is likely different than what happens at our house too. When I was a kid, dinner was always eaten sitting around the dining table, together as a family. In my house now, dinner is provided in the kitchen, every one is told there is food, and then each person comes when they are ready and serves their own meal and takes it to eat where they want to eat it. Often there are a few of us around the dining table, sometimes people wander outside to eat, sometimes people choose to take their meal to their bedroom and eat alone.
There was a time when this would have upset me. I used to have ideas about family time, and the necessity of routine and memory making and strategies for communication. It doesn’t now though. I have learned there is more than one way to get things done. No one way is inherently better than another. Here, we just do what works for us, and for our kids, and we learn as we go how to support each other.
Looking at the way we prepare and eat salad here is just the start of identifying the things we do to manage the challenges we live with and the ways we support each other.
There is more than one way to play.
There is more than one way to do bedtime.
There is more than one way to get chores done.
There is more than one way to financially support a family.
There is more than one way to do education.
There is more than one way to eat salad.